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Gabrielle Stone on Healing and Being a Badass in ‘Eat, Pray, #FML’

If your divorce turned you into your own private detective as you peeled your marriage to pieces, our guest this week is your Spirit Animal. Gabrielle Stone is and actor, podcaster, and writer. She wrote the book “Eat, Pray, #FML” which released in 2019, and the upcoming sequel due to drop in just a few weeks.

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Gabrielle Stone pulled on the threads of her own marriage, until it came apart. At the other end, she’d discovered spare phones, receipts, emails, and an extraordinary web of social media posts that came together to paint a picture of her husband’s extensive affair with a younger woman.

In her day job, Stone is filmmaker. Her films It Happened Again Last Night and After Emma earned her awards for writing, directing, and acting. With the discovery — and recovery — through her husband’s infidelity and ultimately divorce, she put pen to paper and produced Eat, Pray, #FML, a book chronicling three months of her life of struggle, exploration, and reward.

Gabrielle Stone in the Toaster

We loved the book. It’s vulnerable, enlightening, and above all a red-hot page-turner. Welcoming Gabrielle to How to Split a Toaster gives us the opportunity to explore some legal concepts that can lead to anxiety. For example, what do you do when approaching your spouse for divorce might put you in harm’s way? How do you mitigate risk in process serving? Does your lawyer really recommend you act as your own private investigator?

But more important, Gabrielle helps us understand her healing process. In the spirit of letting her experience serve others, she talks about her journey through love bombing, recovery, solo travel and finding a space for healing alone.

The sequel is coming in just a few short weeks. In the mean time, click through to pick up Eat, Pray, #FML on Amazon to get yourself caught up and ready for more. Our great thanks to Gabrielle Stone for joining us this week on How to Split a Toaster.

Links & Notes


Episode Transcript

Pete Wright:
Welcome to How to Split a Toaster, a divorce podcast about saving your relationships from TruStory FM. Today on the show, this is what it sounds like when your toaster writes a divorce book.

Seth Nelson:
Hi everyone, welcome to the show. I’m Seth Nelson. I’m here, as always, with my good friend, Pete Wright. If your divorce turned you into your own private detective as you peeled your marriage into pieces, our guest this week is your spirit animal. Gabrielle Stone is an actor, podcaster, and writer. She wrote the book, Eat, Pray, #FuckMyLife, which was released in 2017, and the upcoming sequel due to drop in just a few weeks. Gabrielle, welcome to the toaster.

Gabrielle Stone:
I love that intro, guys. I think that’s one of the better ones I’ve had, so thank you. I’m so happy to be here.

Pete Wright:
You’re very kind.

Seth Nelson:
All right, well, if you’re happy, thanks for coming. This was a great show.

Pete Wright:
That’s it. Before we disappoint you.

Gabrielle Stone:
Okay, great. I’ll just see myself out.

Pete Wright:
Okay. I don’t even know where to start with this book. It is-

Gabrielle Stone:
I love it.

Pete Wright:
I need to talk… Yeah.

Seth Nelson:
Okay, Pete, I know where to start with this book. I know exactly where to start, okay? Because her marriage was two years, right, Gabrielle? Two year marriage to start with?

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah, we were coming up on two years, yeah.

Seth Nelson:
Right. Pete, as you know, I was married for three years, which my girlfriend says, “That’s not a marriage. That’s a long movie.” I think two years might be like a one night stand. I don’t really know how we’re going to lay that out.

Gabrielle Stone:
I would consider it that as well.

Pete Wright:
Oh my goodness. Well, I’m telling you, if at some point we don’t get updates on all of these people in this show, we’re doing it wrong. But I need to… There are things that I am curious about, and I’m hoping you can give our listeners, for those who, I don’t know how any of our listeners wouldn’t have stumbled across this book because it’s amazing, that we could start a little bit about when you turned into the private investigator. Because we hear these stories.

Pete Wright:
You get these stories where there’s infidelity involved, and one partners feels like there are these clues, and things are starting to come apart, but they’re being gaslit, and they don’t know how to turn from like, “Oh my gosh, I’m being lied to. I need to solve this, I need to get to the bottom of it,” and you did that. And I’m very curious if you could get us up to speed on that process so our listeners all know where we’re going, and then we’ll talk a little bit about about the legal side of it, because I’m real curious about that, too.

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah, totally. It’s interesting because when I was in my marriage, I didn’t know about narcissists and gaslighting. And we talk so much about that on my podcast, FML Talk now, but I had no idea that I was married to a narcissist or being gaslit. And I trusted him so completely and so blindly that I never even had an inkling to look through his phone. There was never that type of energy between us. None of my friends saw this coming. None of my family, my mother, who’s got intuition like a psycho, his parents. Nobody saw this coming from him. He was not that guy.

Gabrielle Stone:
And it happened really circumstantially. I didn’t even go looking or digging for stuff. There had been some red flags that had presented themselves, which are all in the book, and he had gone out of town on a work trip. I was in our office and getting something out of the filing cabinet, and his big iMac was there, and I heard an email ding go off. And I ignored it at first, and then two more dings came in, so I went to go look at it, and it was an Uber receipt from him Ubering from where he was supposed to be in Florida to Miami. And I was like, why are you going to Miami? Mm-mm (negative).

Gabrielle Stone:
And that was all it took. I looked in the trash email and found all of the receipts from six months of an affair. And it was just evidence beyond evidence, and I was just blown away. And when I found that, I was already, because of the problems we had been having and the red flags that had come up, [crosstalk 00:04:42]-

Pete Wright:
Yeah, the relationship was not great, right? No.

Gabrielle Stone:
No, not at all. We had been really unhappy and in therapy for six months. I was working my ass off. He was doing nothing, but I didn’t realize why. And I was already 95% sure I was going to get divorced, but it was that last 5% that I was like, God, should I stay and keep going to therapy and work on my marriage? I made this commitment. We took vows. And then I found all of that, and that blew that fucking 5% right open.

Seth Nelson:
And that’s interesting you say that, because Pete, we’ve talked about it before. It’s usually a longer journey to find yourself saying, “I’m ready for a divorce,” and when something major like this happens, it accelerates it. But sometimes that last 5% is really hard to get over, to pick up the phone and call the divorce attorney or to tell your phones, “I’m out.” And a lot of that I think is being courageous of yourself. It takes a lot of confidence to say that, and people don’t realize it at the time, that I think it, at some levels, can be the most important decision and strongest decision you can make for yourself.

Seth Nelson:
And I’m not trying to encourage people to get divorced here. I’m just saying, if you’re in that situation, you need to protect yourself on who you are as a person. I’m not saying from a legal perspective or any of that matter. Who are you, and are you going to allow yourself to be treated like this? And if so, what is that saying about you, and do you want to change that?

Gabrielle Stone:
Absolutely. And I know people that have gone through infidelity and have gone to counseling and worked through it, and ended up with a stronger marriage. I am not that person. I don’t put up or tolerate with being disrespected in that way. And there was never a question in my mind. I mean, I was on the phone with a divorce attorney later that day. And it really, in hindsight, I was grateful to him, and I am grateful to him, because it made it so easy for me to just be like, “Okay, I’m done,” and walk away, instead of staying in a miserable marriage for another two, three, four years, trying to make it work when it was never going to.

Pete Wright:
Well, yeah. And I found myself asking every page turn, I’m like, how many times did you ask yourself, “Why am I working at all to stay in love with an idiot, somebody who’s so disrespectful of the marriage?”

Seth Nelson:
Okay, now, Pete, Pete, hold on. Hold on. You’ve just given the line for 98% of the women who get divorced.

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah. Right, right. Well, to be fair, I think that a lot of the times when you’re in those toxic dynamics, you don’t see things as clearly as you do when you take those love goggles off, or the toxic goggles off, whatever you might be in. And when you step back from an outside perspective, you’re like, oh my God, this was fucking doomed from the start. But when you’re in it, you don’t see it as clearly.

Gabrielle Stone:
And especially with my ex-husband, he wasn’t an asshole. He wasn’t this terrible person 90% of the time. There was of course the 10% where I look back and I’m like, oh, dude, he was gaslighting me. He was making me feel like shit for wanting to have a career, a bunch of horrible things. But he did it in a way that didn’t make it seem all that bad when I was in it. I was trying to wrestle with, do I stay and fight for this marriage when he hasn’t done anything that bad, before I had found out about the cheating.

Pete Wright:
That’s a Maya Angelou thing, right? Blow, bite, and blow. You blow a little bit on the skin, then you bite when you can’t feel it, and then you blow to make it good. You never know you’ve been bitten, but-

Gabrielle Stone:
Totally.

Pete Wright:
… you’re totally being eaten alive.

Gabrielle Stone:
100%.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. The piece that I’m curious about is, you’re starting to do this investigative stuff. You find all the receipts. You find, you didn’t mention second phones. Good grief. Who does he think he is at this point? So there’s a lot that’s unraveling, the phone in the underwear drawer, all that stuff. But then it gets to, you’re talking to the attorney, and you don’t really talk about this in the book, and I’m curious why or why not.

Pete Wright:
When you do the process serving, when you schedule the time and he comes over and you serve him the papers, the way you talk about that experience implies that there was some level of hesitance, that there was risk involved in that approach. You ask him to keep the door open. You tell him that there are people who are expecting a call from you. It feels very much like you’re setting up for a guy who is potentially violent, and we hadn’t really gotten that perspective so far. What is it that’s going through your head as you’re approaching the moment of recognition, or that both of you are parting ways?

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah. It was so nerve-racking. I’ve never experienced anxiety quite like that, and it had been building over two weeks of me gathering all this evidence and information, and meeting with the lawyers. It was really debilitating anxiety, and the day that I knew he was coming to the house for the process server to serve the papers, there were so many variables involved. It was like, is he going to come early? Is the process server going to be here on time? Is he going to be able to get everything done the way it’s supposed to get done?

Gabrielle Stone:
It was very like throwing chips in the air and hoping they fall the right way. And when he got there and I told him that he could come inside if he wanted to talk about everything, with me saying, “Leave the door open, and there are people that know that I’m here and are expecting me to call when I leave,” I didn’t know this person anymore. The person that I married was not who I was living with. I mean, he had had, like you said, a second phone, which I talk about in the book. He had had things booked under a totally different name.

Gabrielle Stone:
He had had multiple relations with other women, and I had no idea who this was. If he was capable of that, what else is he capable of? I didn’t know who he was, and it was really like I was sitting down to have a conversation with a sociopath, so yeah, I was going to leave the door open, and yeah, I was damn sure going to tell him that people are expecting my call when I leave, just to protect myself. Because I had no idea what else he had been doing, and it was scary for me. And it’s weird to think that it’s that scary for you to sit down with your husband to have a discussion.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Well, that’s why I want to get to that, because now the jig is up, and you’ve talked to your attorneys. And I’m curious, from your perspective, Seth, how do you counsel your clients in this position?

Seth Nelson:
Service of process. Let’s just be clear on what this is. This is like what you see in the movies when someone comes and hands them the paper and says, “You’ve been served.”

Gabrielle Stone:
It was literally like out of a movie.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. I love that bit. “What’s your name? Who are you? What’s your number?” “Doesn’t matter, bro.”

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah. And that’s exactly how it went. It was ridiculous.

Seth Nelson:
So I really work hard, and I’ve made my mistakes as an attorney on this, that I’ve felt horrible about, on process serving, so we take it very seriously. One, if I’m representing the wife, for example, the wife doesn’t have to be there when the husband gets served, so there’s that protection. And if there are no kids involved and we are dealing with a sociopath, then I might say, “Hey, go get a different place to live.” And people say, “Well, am I abandoning the house? Does that mean I don’t have right to the house?”

Seth Nelson:
No, that’s not what it means. You know this, Pete. Check your local jurisdiction, but no, you’re protecting yourself. You’re allowed to leave the house. The other thing that is vitally important is if you have children. We work really hard not to serve the parent with divorce papers when that parent has the children, because you never know what’s going to happen then, and that just does not play well, fast forward, in court to say, “Yeah, you were so concerned about our children that you had me served when I was showing up at the parent-teacher conference.” I mean, something that’s that ridiculous.

Pete Wright:
Wow.

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah.

Seth Nelson:
And there’s a lot of people that will try to avoid service, that will dodge it. They’ll get wind that, “Hey, she’s going to file for divorce.” They start checking the court file, and they see that it’s been filed, so they know someone’s out looking for them. There’s lots of things that people do to try to avoid it, but you have to be careful when you’re dealing with a sociopath. The flip side of that is if you already know they’re talking to a lawyer, I just call the lawyer and say, “Hey, will you accept service on behalf of your client?” They say, “Yes,” they file one piece of paperwork in the court file, it takes them 10 minutes, and we’re done.

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah. So we were really lucky because we didn’t have kids together, and the house that we were in, we were renting, so none of those questions really came up, and I knew I was leaving that house. And I had been going through the process with my attorney for about two weeks while he was on this business trip, and I didn’t want him to catch wind of any of it, to then be able to file and return or whatever. So I was really quiet. Only my mother and my really close circle of friends knew about what was going on.

Gabrielle Stone:
And that was part of the anxiety. I couldn’t talk about it. We weren’t communicating a whole lot while he was on this trip because before he left, we had had a big fight and I had told him I needed space. But I would still send texts that made it seem like everything was kind of okay, so he had no idea when he showed up at the house that I was going to be serving him papers. I think he knew that we were going to have a conversation, and he probably was going to end it on some level. He had just been on a full-blown vacation with this girl and flaunted him around all these people that we knew, but he didn’t know that a divorce was going to be handed to him when he got there.

Pete Wright:
I just can’t even with this story. I just can’t.

Gabrielle Stone:
And it’s only the beginning.

Pete Wright:
I know. Oh my God.

Seth Nelson:
I know. Pete, we’re like 10 minutes into this podcast, and we’re at service of process, which actually isn’t even the story.

Pete Wright:
Right.

Gabrielle Stone:
I originally wasn’t even going to go into the details about the divorce. I was just going to say, “I got cheated on, I got divorced, and then all this stuff happened.” But my girl friend was like, “No, Gabrielle, you have to go into detail about how you find out. That’s like an episode of CSI.” And so many readers are like, “Oh my God, I’ve been through that.”

Seth Nelson:
So many things that you touch on in your book touch readers at all different levels, so let’s talk about what really happened in your life, because that is, to me, the most vulnerable, raw, honest book about divorce and finding yourself than I’ve read in a long time. And I know that’s how people are connecting with you as well.

Gabrielle Stone:
Thank you. That’s really so cool to hear, not, no offense, that you guys aren’t my target demographic. And it’s so awesome.

Seth Nelson:
Short, Jewish, bald lawyer. Wait a minute. Short, Jewish, bald lawyer is not your target audience here?

Gabrielle Stone:
I mean, you know. I love it. No, but seriously, it’s great when I do interviews like these and men sit down to read the book, because it’s not something that you would pick up just by seeing it. But I did take a lot of care in the fact that heartbreak and grief is universal. It’s not a female, male thing. And I have a lot of male readers that do get sucked in one way or another, and I absolutely love that.

Pete Wright:
I’m interested, Seth, to hear what you found, as somebody who’s both a divorce attorney and somebody who’s been divorced… For me, I’m into the CSI stuff. What is it that really struck you and connected for you in the book?

Seth Nelson:
The raw emotion and honesty. When you are open, honest, and vulnerable, that is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself, because you’re saying, “Here it all is, and I’m still okay, and I’m still going to live my life, and I’m going to live my better life.” And then taking that and putting it out there in the world to help others, to me is just remarkable.

Seth Nelson:
And so on every step of the way on whatever emotion it was, when you were writing the book as you were on your travels, as you fell into this amazing romantic relationship and was going to take this trip, and 48 hours prior is like, “No,” he doesn’t want to go with you, and how that led to your journey, every step along the way is what I felt was just you being open, honest, and vulnerable to help, one, your journey, you learning to be alone, you learning to love yourself, and then giving that to the world.

Gabrielle Stone:
100%. Hit the nail on the head.

Pete Wright:
What is it that pushed your… Because for a lot of people, they’ve lived through these traumatic experiences, these relationship experiences, and there are things that they deal with with their therapist. Was there something for you that flipped the switch that said, “You know what? I need my life to serve as a warning for others. I’m going to write this…” First, clearly, and you talk a little bit about this, the book is an act of catharsis, but two, what is it that drives you to be of service in this way?

Gabrielle Stone:
Well, let me catch everybody up to the point where I decided I was going to write the book, because it’ll lead into that pretty naturally. When I drove away from the house that I shared with my ex-husband, it was about two weeks later, which was about a month after I had found out about the cheating after six months of being very miserable, but yes, this did happen very quickly. I met a guy, and we fell madly in love with each other, head over heels, over the span of five days. And it was zero to 100, meet my family, I’m going to have babies with this person. We’re signed, sealed, delivered.

Gabrielle Stone:
And in those five days, he invited me on a month-long trip to Italy with him that he had booked. And of course at first, I thought he was absolutely crazy. And then I asked him when he was leaving, and he said, “September 4th,” which would have been my two year wedding anniversary. And I’m like, “Okay. When are you coming home?” And he goes, “October 4th,” which is my late father’s birthday. So at this point, I’m like, okay, universe, I hear you. I’m going on the trip.

Gabrielle Stone:
So I book my ticket, and we’re together for a month and a half, and everything’s amazing. I meet his family, fall in love with his mother. We were like, “Oh, this is it. This is done.” And this is why the divorce had to happen. It all happens for a reason. And then 48 hours before we were getting on the plane, he tells me he needs to go by himself, and breaks up with me. I was absolutely devastated. He broke my heart like my ex-husband never could have done. And sitting on my bed wallowing in my tears, probably with wine, I had a decision to make, and that was either stay at home heartbroken, or go travel Europe for a month by myself.

Gabrielle Stone:
And I was like, there’s no question in my mind. I’m going to take this trip, and I’m going to go learn how to heal myself. So to answer your question, the day I found out I was going by myself, the following day we had a conversation, and I told him, his name is Javier in the book, I was telling him, “I’m going to go, too.” And when he dropped me off from that conversation back at my mom’s house, because I was divorced and living at my mom’s house at the time, I remember him looking at me and saying, “How are you feeling, Gabs?” And I said, “Like I’m about to go on a journey of eat, pray, fuck my life.” And that’s the title. I had never-

Seth Nelson:
[inaudible 00:21:27] title.

Gabrielle Stone:
Look, full transparency, I had never read Eat Pray Love. I went inside that night and watched the movie and sat there with my job open, going, “Holy shit. This is literally my life right now.” And the next day, I bought a leather-bound journal and took it with me to Europe. I started it the first day I was in London, and I wrote three-fourths of the book on my Europe trip in the journal, not journaling and then turning it into a book when I came home. If you open the journal, it’s chapter one, and it’s very close to how the published version ended up being.

Seth Nelson:
Was it like a switch for you?

Gabrielle Stone:
What?

Seth Nelson:
Literally, was it like a light switch that went on and said, “I have a month blocked off of my life. I got a divorce from a sociopath. Thank God that’s over, but hey, I’m missing some signals here. I’m madly in love with a guy.” And you had dated him casually before.

Gabrielle Stone:
Gone on two dates six years earlier. Yeah, very casually.

Seth Nelson:
But you kind of get reacquainted. I think it was like Instagram or something where everyone re-meets, right?

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah.

Seth Nelson:
I always call them Facebook divorces. Like, “Oh, I got in touch with someone on Facebook, and here we go, back in high school.”

Gabrielle Stone:
I love it.

Seth Nelson:
You’re questioning yourself, like, “How do I keep picking thee guys, or am I getting it…” Is it just a switch that you’re like, “I’m going to go figure this out, and I’ve got a month in Europe, and that’s what I’m going to do”?

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah. It wasn’t picking the guys that made it seem like that. To be honest, and you guys read in the book, I take responsibility for the things that I need to fix and heal within myself, but I still, through all of that, will not say, “Oh, I blatantly ignored a bunch of red flags with both of these men,” because I was with my ex-husband for five years. No one saw this coming. Were there signs of manipulation and unhealthy tendencies throughout the relationship? Yes. Were there signs that he was going to slip and have his penis fall into the vagina of a 19-year-old? Not so much.

Gabrielle Stone:
And with Javier, when he and I reconnected, he had told me about that he had lost his brother two years, or a year and a half prior to suicide, and that he had struggled with it, of course, like anyone would, but that he felt like he had really moved through it finally and was getting his footing, and was very happy now that he was back from shooting a show, and that his life was back on track. So he didn’t show me any crazy red flags right up front either. Now that I know about the term love bombing and what that really entails, I now see very clearly that that’s what was happening, and he had a void within himself that he was trying to fill up with love from me.

Pete Wright:
Wait. Wait, wait, wait. I need a flag on the field. Can you tell me what love bombing is?

Gabrielle Stone:
Yes.

Pete Wright:
I have never, swear to God, ever heard of that.

Gabrielle Stone:
Oh, here we go. Yes. Love bombing is when a person very quickly starts to shower you with love and attention, and the relationship just escalates very, very quickly. I love yous come very early. You’re together all the time. And it’s because the personal normally has some type of void within themselves and wants to fill that up to feel better. So when they start having feelings for someone, they’re like, “Oh, this is the person that can do that for me. They can fix me. They can make me feel better.”

Gabrielle Stone:
And sometimes it’s conscious, sometimes I’m sure it’s subconscious. And they start throwing themselves, and you become their world, and it’s very intense, very fast. And then when they finally realize, “Oh, this isn’t going to make that spot in me feel better,” then they retreat and pull away, and it’s usually at the height of the honeymoon stage. So when you get broken up with by a love bomber situation, it’s way worse than when a relationship has run its course and it’s a shitty breakup.

Pete Wright:
Because you’re at the height of your emotional experience.

Gabrielle Stone:
The height. Yeah. And it’s devastating. So I wouldn’t say that I blatantly ignored any of these red flags, but to answer your question, when I found out I was going on this trip by myself, as devastated and heartbroken as I was, I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason. Sometimes you can’t see it until you’re farther away and have some perspective, but even in that moment, I knew why it was happening. I have had a massive fear of abandonment since I was a little girl.

Gabrielle Stone:
I walked in, found my father dead on the floor when I was six years old, lost my high school sweetheart to a car accident when I was 18. And since then, it’s when I love people, they die, fear of abandonment. And the way that fear of abandonment manifested in me throughout my years was always having friends over, living with roommates, always having a man in my life, never truly being alone. And this was the universe’s clear way of being like, “Okay, Gabrielle. We’re going to go face that shit head on across the world by yourself, and you’re going to heal it.”

Gabrielle Stone:
Because I knew that that was the core of my being, and if I wanted to figure out how to love myself, I had to figure out how to let go of this fear of abandonment. So it was like a light switch. And my life had become this weird, fucked up sitcom with a dash of horror movies in it, and I was like, I have to write about this. You literally can’t write this shit that’s going on in my life right now. And I knew that whatever this Europe trip was going to bring was going to be a really big healing experience for me.

Seth Nelson:
You went on a trip, and you describe it as, “I’m going on this trip alone.” But you’re not really alone. You meet people from all over the world. You connect with people from all over the world. You still have your support group back home. But it still is this massive shift in your life that, “I’m not going on a trip with my girl friends. I’m not just getting on a plane flying alone to go meet my friends where you always plan out everything.” So just that experience, it sounded to me through the book, is that it opened yourself up and gave you a safe space like, “I can go out into the world by myself, and I’m going to be who I am. There’s no time for the bullshit stories that we tell ourselves and tell others when you’re on this trip.” Right? And that’s where you find yourself.

Gabrielle Stone:
100%. And you go and you solo travel, which I’ve done a second solo trip now, and I recommend it to everyone. It’s life-changing, because you realize how freaking capable you are, that you can go out across the world in this new place totally by yourself and be completely okay. And that for me was life-changing. It was so empowering.

Gabrielle Stone:
It gave me a chance to really reflect and be with myself and meet these amazing people from all over the world, and create these beautiful friendships that escalate so much quicker because when you’re solo traveling, you don’t have time or care to put that bullshit layer of what society expects you to do when you meet someone new. And you’re so raw and you’re so authentic, and it just really validates you as a human at your core. And for me, it completely changed the way I looked at the world and at myself.

Pete Wright:
I was thinking about that as I’m reading, at least in the first part of the book and I’m going through the experience, and I’m a dude, and I’m in a marriage, and so I’m trying to find, trying to find-

Seth Nelson:
You make it sound [inaudible 00:29:27].

Pete Wright:
Yeah, right. Right. But I’m trying to find that empathetic vibe. I’m trying to find out, where did it go wrong at the beginning of that six months? And I can honestly kind of get there with your former spouse. I can see how at one point, this one decision was bad, and then he begins lying to himself. And those lies to himself, they grow and grow, and suddenly it’s an avalanche of lies and fear, and obviously now you’re in it, and the relationship is falling apart, and it’s just terrible.

Pete Wright:
And it sounds to me like… Again, trying to put myself now in your shoes, the gift he never got was learning how to stop lying to yourself about how capable you are, and that is absolutely what I get, that oh, damn, she totally figured out how to stop lying to herself. This is amazing.

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah. 100%. And if you only knew the trajectory that that man went on after all of this happened, I dodged a massive, not even a bullet, a fucking bomb. I dodged a bomb.

Pete Wright:
I don’t know how there’s more. I hear that there’s another book coming, and I’m both exhilarated because I’m on a 48 hour bender of just finishing your book, and that there’s a sequel is like, damn straight, I’m going to read that book. But I also feel kind of sorry for you. At what point are you done with the rollercoaster?

Gabrielle Stone:
I’m hoping after this sequel that I don’t have to write anymore in that way or capacity, but you never say never, because look at my life. But yes, so I’ve been getting, and I say this lovingly, hounded by my readers from the first week that this book came out, which was a little over two years ago now. I think it actually released and was published in 2019. And hounded by my readers to release a second book, and what happened after Europe, and they want to know everything that happened and ensued with Javier, and do we still talk, and did Chris ever come to LA, and all the things. And so I wrote it.

Pete Wright:
Wow.

Gabrielle Stone:
And it’s just as wild as the first one in a lot of ways. And for me, the second one was a lot more difficult to write. The first one, I wrote in three months. The majority I did on the trip, and it just kind of flowed out of me. This one spans over a longer period of time. If you can believe it, Eat, Pray, FML is three and a half months of my life from finding out about the affair, falling in love, getting heartbroken, and going to Europe. Three and a half months.

Seth Nelson:
And writing it in real time for most of it.

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah. Yeah.

Pete Wright:
That’s exhausting.

Gabrielle Stone:
That book was written on the streets of Paris and in Airbnbs in Amsterdam and in cafes in Barcelona.

Seth Nelson:
By the way, that’s where I do most of my legal writing, just if you were worried.

Gabrielle Stone:
It’s good spots. Good spots to pick. And the second one picks up right where we leave off, so we literally, the first line is, “I stepped inside, my backpack hit the floor.”

Pete Wright:
Oh my God.

Gabrielle Stone:
It directly follows the first one, and goes up until December of 2019, so it covers two years of my life. So it was a lot harder to write, mostly because I was dredging up so much old emotional stuff that I’ve now moved on from. I’m in a very happy, healthy relationship now, and a lot of book two is the story of how we got there.

Gabrielle Stone:
And a lot of it’s not fun, and I’m not proud of a lot of things on my behalf in it. So to go back and continuously relive it was really difficult for me, and I had to do a lot of work to know that I had a responsibility to myself and to my readers to write everything true and authentic, as I did the first one, but also know that my partner was going to have to read that, and it was going to suck.

Pete Wright:
Your partner and all of these past individuals that you have been engaged with.

Gabrielle Stone:
I don’t care as much about them reading it. No, I’m just kidding.

Pete Wright:
Well, but you get my point. Is there any-

Seth Nelson:
No, you’re not.

Pete Wright:
I totally get that vibe. But is there any sort of outcome there? Did you get feedback from them about their experience reading your book?

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah, absolutely. Javier did read the first book, which by the way, anyone in the first book, if there were text messages included, so Javier, his mother, his sister, a lot of the people that I met on the trip, all of those people had to sign releases, so they all know about the book.

Pete Wright:
They all knew it was coming. Yeah, of course.

Gabrielle Stone:
They gave me their blessing. I think Javier at the time felt like he kind of owed it to me.

Seth Nelson:
That makes my lawyer heart sing.

Gabrielle Stone:
Oh, yeah. No, I mean, come on.

Seth Nelson:
That just makes me happy.

Pete Wright:
Lawyer porn. Do you have a contract to read?

Gabrielle Stone:
I did all of this by the book. I was covering my ass at every turn. So yes, he did read the book. It was really difficult for him to read because it’s not every day you have to read 280 pages of the way that you broke someone’s heart and how they were feeling on their side of the experience the whole time. I know he said it was really difficult for him to read, and it took him a while to get through it. There were a lot of times where he was like, “Oh good, at least there’s sex and fun stuff coming up,” and he was like, “Nope, sucked just as much.”

Gabrielle Stone:
But he also learned a lot from it, to not always assume what the other person is going through, and to be there and support someone even if you think it’s not what they need or want at the time. And he said it was a really big learning experience for him in how he would be in relationships in the future. And it’s an interesting ride to see the second book and where it ended up, because I get three questions every week of my life, and that’s, “Do you still talk to Javier? Did Chris come to LA? And what the fuck happened after Europe?” So all of those get thoroughly answered to satisfaction in book two.

Seth Nelson:
I’ve got another question, though, and it might a little off topic. And I know you’re in a very happy relationship, which is awesome, but now when you get into a relationship, do you kind of give them a disclaimer, like, “I might be writing about this shit one day”?

Gabrielle Stone:
It’s interesting, because my boyfriend came into my life semi-quickly after I came home from Europe, which is why it was so tumultuous for us to finally get to where we are. And he was the first person to read Eat, Pray, #FML in its raw draft vomit form, him and my mother, when we were just friends. And so he kind of had this guide to what my life had been and what all my triggers were and the experiences that I had gone through, so I think he kind of knew. He-

Seth Nelson:
Yeah, but isn’t that part of a relationship? I’m sorry to interrupt on this point, because I think it’s really important. You gave him your playbook.

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah.

Seth Nelson:
A lot of miscommunication is because you don’t understand the other person’s playbook.

Gabrielle Stone:
100%. And that’s why our relationship is so strong, and that he is the way that he is, because he had a map to all my triggers and all of my wounds, and he has, from day one, protected them fiercely and never messed with any of them.

Pete Wright:
That’s beautiful. That’s [crosstalk 00:37:41]-

Seth Nelson:
I like this guy.

Pete Wright:
Me too. I like this guy. I like him a lot.

Gabrielle Stone:
He came on and did an episode of FML Talk, and I had some of my listeners submit questions, and one of them was like, “Are you scared you’re going to be written about in a book?” And he’s like, “Oh, I already know it’s happening.” And he was like, “It’s just like, don’t fuck up, [Tay 00:37:57].” But I always say, “If people wanted to be written about fondly, they should have fucking behaved better.”

Pete Wright:
Yeah, right? Right. God.

Gabrielle Stone:
It’s not my problem.

Seth Nelson:
Amen. Amen, sister.

Gabrielle Stone:
It’s not my problem.

Pete Wright:
It’s not my problem.

Gabrielle Stone:
But I will say that I write in a very… Even when I was writing about my ex-husband, there was loads of stuff that I could have put in there that I didn’t because it would have just been bashing him and making him look worse. The only things that I wrote about were my experience, the facts, and laying them out for other people to judge. There was never anything that I was really trying to make him look like a piece of shit. He did that all on his own.

Gabrielle Stone:
And as far as Javier goes, I wrote that book when I was still very much in love with him, so I took lots of care to make sure that he wasn’t the bad guy in the story, and that I talked about his grief and I showed his struggles. If people choose to hate him as a character or dislike him as a character, that’s because of their personal experiences that they are triggered by reading about. It’s not because I portrayed him in that way.

Pete Wright:
Right. I’m exhausted.

Seth Nelson:
Everyone needs to read it. I know. And so when-

Pete Wright:
Well, and that’s exactly the point, that in terms of you and me not being in the target audience, I know so many people who need to experience this, too. I am so eager to start sending links.

Gabrielle Stone:
Oh, yay.

Pete Wright:
Get this book. Listen to this episode. Subscribe to the podcast.

Gabrielle Stone:
Well-

Seth Nelson:
Oh, Pete, I couldn’t agree with you more. And this is what you were saying earlier, Gabrielle, is that hurt and emotions run throughout humanity. It’s not this only relates to women. And there’s such a strong group of women helping women, and I appreciate when you’re writing this book, you’re saying, “There’s other women going through this. I’m going to put this out there for them,” not even realizing that there are men out there that are really getting some powerful life perspective from your writing and from your story.

Gabrielle Stone:
Totally. Thank you for that.

Seth Nelson:
Yeah, we-

Gabrielle Stone:
And I think that one of the reasons why it’s such a quick read and people connect with it so much is because it’s really like you’re reading a ridiculous Netflix show, and you don’t realize that it’s a self help book. You don’t realize that you’re going to heal while watching me heal.

Pete Wright:
Yeah.

Seth Nelson:
It’s really funny you say that about a ridiculous Netflix show, because when I read your book, I felt the same way, and so I put my headphones on so my girlfriend could sleep and not hear the Netflix going. That’s how I actually felt.

Gabrielle Stone:
I love it.

Pete Wright:
Well, I think I interrupted you, Seth. You were about to ask when is the next book dropping?

Seth Nelson:
Yeah. When is it dropping? When can people get it? Can they sign up early? Are people camping out? What’s happening?

Gabrielle Stone:
So I’m not announcing the release date, because then my readers will be banging on my door if, God forbid, anything happens. And it’s coming very soon, within the next month.

Seth Nelson:
Or so.

Gabrielle Stone:
Or so. Yeah.

Pete Wright:
We’ll give you an or so.

Seth Nelson:
We’ll give you a little out there as the attorney on this podcast.

Gabrielle Stone:
Thank you. Thank you for that.

Seth Nelson:
Including, but not limited to.

Gabrielle Stone:
Yes. Love that. Love that. And there’s no pre-order. It’ll just drop on Amazon on the day that it’s released. I do have signed copies of both of them on my website, which is EatPrayFML.com. Otherwise, it’s exclusively on Amazon in paperback, eBook, and audiobook. I’ve actually been recording the audiobook all this week, which is my voice sounds rather manly today, because it’s on its way out.

Pete Wright:
Awesome.

Gabrielle Stone:
Yeah.

Pete Wright:
Cannot wait. And once Seth and I have a chance to devour the second book, I hope you’ll come back and talk to us about that journey, too.

Gabrielle Stone:
Oh, I would love to. Absolutely.

Pete Wright:
You are a dope individual, Gabrielle Stone. Thanks for hanging out with us.

Gabrielle Stone:
Aw, thank you, sir. I appreciate that. This has been awesome.

Pete Wright:
It’s really great. Again, everybody, EatPrayFML.com, and you can find the book where [inaudible 00:42:17] books are sold, and FML Talk, subscribe to that podcast.

Gabrielle Stone:
Yes. Yeah. We have a good time.

Pete Wright:
The link’s in the show notes. Thanks, everybody. On behalf of Gabrielle Stone and the good Seth Nelson, America’s favorite family law attorney, I’m Pete Wright. We’ll catch you right here next week on How to Split a Toaster, a divorce podcast about saving your relationships.

Speaker 4:
Seth Nelson is an attorney with Nelson Koster Family Law and Mediation, with offices in Tampa, Florida. While we may be discussing family law topics, How to Split a Toaster is not intended to, nor is it providing legal advice. Every situation is different. If you have specific questions regarding your situation, please seek your own legal counsel with an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. Pete Wright is not an attorney or employee of Nelson Koster. Seth Nelson is licensed to practice law in Florida.

Seth Nelson is a Tampa based family lawyer known for devising creative solutions to difficult problems. In How to Split a Toaster, Nelson and co-host Pete Wright take on the challenge of divorce with a central objective — saving your most important relationships with your family, your former spouse, and yourself.